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Stern indeed

Firstly, a declaration of slight personal regret today. I was unable to attend the Walk Against Warming in Sydney this morning because it was... er, too cold.

The fact is that I am still recovering from the effects of a rather aggressive little URTI earlier this week. Despite the weather there were still 10,000 people who did the march from Martin Place to the Botanic Gardens, which is great news. More demonstrations around the world on November 4 coming up.

Sir Nicholas Stern's costings of the impact of climate change are massive, yet I feel that they could still be an underestimate.

At least we now seem to be at the point where (almost) everyone seems to be nodding their head to say "yes, it's a problem and we need to do something about it."

And then there's John Winston Howard who simply doesn't get it. Look after the short-term interests of big business (especially those in the mining industries), look after the marginal votes for the next election, tell cabinet not to be mesmerised by one damning report. Then put the boot in to the Muslim community to change the subject.

Few people will doubt that the Kyoto Protocol is no longer adequate for preventing climate change, but that's absolutely no reason for Howard to turn his back on the rest of the non-American world and continue to ignore it - bizarrely claiming that Australia is meeting its Kyoto targets anyway!

We'll look forward to the UN Climate Change Conference, starting in Nairobi this Wednesday, with great expectation.

These are the current policy statements on climate change of the Australian Labor Party, the Australian Democrats and the Australian Greens. Next, read the environment and conservation policy of the Nationals, the political party that proudly claims to best represent the "man on the land".

As for the Government, refer to John Howard's speech to the AP6 (his alternate-universe climate change forum) on Tuesday.